News

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION
 
From 6th April 2018 Credit Unions will have a new legal obligation when issuing loans which are not secured or covered by shares.
 From this date onwards when a loan is being collected, the Promissory Note  sets out the amount of members’ shares that are being pledged against the loan and therefore CANNOT BE WITHDRAWN.
 
As always, shares lodged after a loan is issued, are free to be withdrawn and we would also encourage members to avail of a Pennyburn Credit Union Easy Share Account where they can save up to £3000.
 
 The Easy Share Account can be set-up with no hidden transaction charges. Access to shares in this account are on demand as and when you need them and are also eligible for a dividend if declared by the credit union at AGM.
 
If you require any further advice about the new obligation placed on credit unions, or want to find out more about opening an Easy Share Account, contact either office and speak to a member of staff.
 
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our members for their continuing loyalty and support.
 
We are taking on board suggestions made by some of our members to improve the loan process by providing a quicker loan decision.  In most cases this may be on the same day that the loan is applied for or within 24 hours.   We want to give our members the service they expect and deserve and to do so we must ensure, where possible, that the member has the capacity to repay all of their debts.

In order to provide a quicker loan application decision and help prevent members from becoming over-indebted, the credit union has introduced new income and expenditure verification procedures.

To assist the credit union in making responsible, informed loan decisions we will, from 1st February 2018, ask members to provide further supporting documentation. Such documentation will include, but may not be limited to, the most recent 3 months bank statements and/or wage slips, etc. when applying for loans that are:
 
  1. not covered by savings and in excess of £7,500
    •  
  2. a new loan combined with an existing loan balance that would bring the total loan above £7,500
We understand that, to begin with, the new procedures may be inconvenient but we are confident that they will help the credit union improve the loan service to members.  No matter what your loan is for, Pennyburn Credit Union will ensure everything is clear, transparent and straightforward. 
Thank you for your continued support. Remember should you require further clarification on the loan application process or would like information on any of our services you can either speak to a member of staff in either office or on the phone. You can also contact us by email or private message on Face Book. 
 
 
Board of Directors
 
The mission of Pennyburn Credit Union Limited is to promote and support the financial and social well being of our community. 
Your CUFlow account is an exciting new edition to the services being offered by Pennyburn Credit Union Ltd. Your CUFlow account is similar to a bank current account and will facilitate electronic payments to and from your credit union accounts. 

How will it work?

Your CUFlow account is automatically set up for you and we are now issuing members with a Sort Code and Account Number for this account. 

CUFlow will be used for Standing Orders and Electronic Payments. 

In order to facilitate this new process, we require you to change your Standing Order payments at your bank. The CUFlow account should only contain funds to meet these activities and all other savings should remain as they are. 

Call into one of the offices to receieve details of your CUFlow Account Number or give us a call on 02871352166 if you have any questions. 
We would like to help our members manage the changes of Welfare Reform.  If you have recently received a “Benefit Entitlement” letter telling you about important changes to your benefit payments then please bring it with you when you next apply for a loan.  This information will help the credit union, and you the member, get a better understanding of the existing and possible changes that are taking place under Welfare Reform.
 
If you would like to speak to a member of staff regarding your credit union payments just call at either office, phone or email us at any time.
 
If you have any queries regarding your benefits and the changes to them contact Advice N.I. on 08088020020 orwelfarechanges@adviceni.net.
Some of you may have received letters telling you that you can no longer have your benefits paid to a Post Office Card Account. You are now being asked to use a bank, building society or credit union account for this purpose.
Did you know that for 10 years members of Pennyburn Credit Union Ltd. have been receiving their benefits paid directly to their credit union account.
We currently process an average of 1700 payments per month for 830 members, so you could say we know how to help you access your money.
 
If you would like to set up this facility, just ask a member of staff for details or email info@pennyburncreditunion.co.uk and we can help you make this change quickly and easily. 
What you need to know
 
As you may be aware over the past few years a number of changes have been made to the welfare system in Great Britain and since May 2016, these changes have also started to be introduced into Northern Ireland.
 
These are the biggest changes to the benefit and tax credit system in over 70 years with many of the current benefits for people of working age ending and new benefits and payment systems are being introduced.
 
The introduction of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people of working age will help people with a disability or long-term health condition to live full, active and independent lives. PIP assesses how a person’s condition affects their daily life and not the condition that they have. DLA will remain for children up to the age of 16 years, for existing and for new claimants. In addition to children, existing claimants who were aged 65 who were aged 65 years or over on the 20 June 2016 will continue to receive DLA provided they continue to meet the eligibility criteria.
 
It is planned to introduce Universal Credit in 17 September 2017. Universal Credit is intended to make it easier for people to take up a job or to increase the hours they work before their benefit payments start to reduce. Universal Credit will provide specific support for people who are working but living on a low income, who are out of work and those who have a disability or are too ill to work. Universal Credit will replace six current benefits and credits and will be claimed online via www.nidirect.gov.uk.
 
The introduction of the Benefit Cap on 31 May 2016 limited the amount of benefits a household can receive to £26K per annum to make sure that no household in work who are getting an average wage or salary. A lower limit of £20K per year that a household was able to get on benefits was introduced in 2016 November 2016. The benefit cap will only apply if someone in the household is in receipt of Housing Benefit.
 
A 365 day limit has been introduced on the length of time that someone can receive contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). The special conditions which allowed some young people to get contribution based ESA have also been removed. New Criteria are also being introduced to calculate Housing Benefit payments; this is known as Social Sector Size Criteria. From early 2017 the amount of Housing Benefit paid for people living in social housing will be based on the size of the rental property and the number of people living there. The criteria for housing benefit will not be changed for people over State Pension age. Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants which were available under Social Fund ceased to exist from November 2016, and were replaced by the new Finance Support Service such as Discretionary Support and Short Term Benefits Advances are designed to provide a fast and responsive telephony based service as the means of receiving short term financial support when you need it. The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed to provide £501 million over the next four years to reduce the impact of these changes. The Executive have put in place support measures to protect and support people who are financially impacted in Northern Ireland over the next four years. People affected by the welfare changes may be entitled to Supplementary Payments to help with any shortfall of benefit payments up until March 2020. Payments are currently being paid for people impacted by the Benefit Cap, where they lose their DLA payments or receiving a lower payment when they have moved to Personal Independence Payments and the time limit on ESA Contributions. Future support will be available when other changes are introduced. Anyone who is eligible will be contacted by the Department of Communities.
 
Where can I find out more?
 
An independent Welfare Changes Helpline is available by calling 08088020020 and additional information is available at www.nidirct.gov.uk/welfarechanges
 
 
Dear member,
 
In recent months, Pennyburn Credit Union has experienced a significant increase in the average level of savings held by individual members. We welcome this display of confidence by our members in our financial strength.
However, due to the very changed regulatory environment in which Pennyburn Credit Union and credit unions around the country are now operating, there are downsides to such an increase. 
 
Under financial regulations, we must maintain reserves of at least 10% of our assets.  Reserves are what protect the credit union from risk.  The credit union’s reserves are taken from the credit union’s yearly surplus. Member’s dividend is also paid out from the yearly surplus. The challenge facing us is that if savings continue to rise at their current levels, the funds available to pay dividends (if a dividend is paid at all by the credit union) at year end may be significantly reduced.  Please note there is never any guarantee of a dividend being paid by the credit union and is always dependent on a number of internal and external factors. 
 
 
The Board of Directors has therefore taken the decision to put in place a limit on member’s total savings with the credit union. As you may be directly affected by this savings cap, we want to provide you with the following information and direction set out in the table below-
 
Current Savings
Limit
New savings limit from 1st October 2016
£30,000.00
Maximum
£20,000 maximum
 
Please note that where members have savings below the new savings limit of £20,000, the following applies:
 
Savings will continue to be accepted, until such time as a transaction would cause the total of all savings with the credit union to go above the limit of £20,000.

 If a particular transaction would cause the £20,000 limit to be exceeded, the transaction will not be accepted by the credit union.  This will apply whether the transaction is at the counter in one of our offices or by electronic transfer.
 
Where members already have savings in excess of the limits set out above, the following applies:
 
No further savings will be accepted, whether over the counter or by electronic transfer, until such time as it is possible to increase the share limit.

Pennyburn Credit Union regrets the imposition of this requirement and it will review the matter in time. 
 
 
Should it be possible to raise the limit on shares, the credit union will notify members immediately. If at any stage you require assistance or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Pennyburn Credit Union.
 
 
The Board of Directors
 
 
 

Online Loan Applications

You can now apply for a loan online.  To apply for a loan, login to the members area and click the apply for loan button. Enter as many details as possible and once you submit the loan application you will be contacted by a member of staff regarding it. Decisions are usually available within 24 hours.

If you do not have access to the members area already, then register today!